Hudson Valley

Laura+Gray : Blue Hill At Stone Barns Wedding Video

What are your wedding colors and/or themes?
We tried to take a less ‘traditional’ route when it came to planning our wedding. Given we are in our 30s and have been fortunate enough to attend probably 50+ weddings between us (both abroad & in the USA), our main focus was creating an environment for our guests to remember as enjoyable, beautiful and fun. We were very focused on keeping our guest’s stomachs filled with an amazing & unique cuisine, and their ears charged with lively music in a beautiful setting. We were so lucky to get the opportunity to work with Lewis Miller, who is probably one of the most talented, kind & creative florists I have come across. Matching him with the incredible staff at Blue Hill, we decorated the venue differently in each space. Our ceremony closely matched the venue, with lots of greenery and white flowers (Lewis Miller designed my bouquet based on my personality, my dress and the setting ). The cocktail hour we introduced some subtle colors, but kept it simple. Our dinner décor was incredible—Lewis & his team brought in trees, in-season white flowers and tons of candles, matched with dark blue table cloths, it made the atmosphere comfortable & yet wildly elegant. Our reception was both inside & outside—Lewis decorated the Band’s stage with greenery and kept the dancing area clean; but outside he created a fun lounge area with string lights & more pops of color. Lewis also created a fun photobooth backdrop with ‘farm’ props, which we agreed was that little bit of tackiness everyone secretly enjoys after a few drinks.

What is your inspiration when planning your wedding?
“Elegant Fun” was our ongoing mantra, however, the location/venue, and food were where we focused 95% of our attention during planning. Gray & I met while we were both working abroad in Australia, and have bonded over a love of travel, so we wanted a less traditional event/not a stuffy wedding setting. Our guests flew from 14+ countries & across the US, which meant so much to us, but also became incredibly important to ensure our guests weren’t inconvenienced and were treated to an amazing weekend; we needed a venue that wasn’t too far from any major airport, that had close accommodations & was convenient for our east coast guests (Gray is from CT, I am from NJ). Blue Hill’s elegant European farm setting, (45 min outside of NYC & 15 min from White Plains), with a unique approach to weddings, immediately caught our eye and checked nearly all our boxes (and Matthew & Alanna at Blue Hill, are probably the sweetest, most impressive people in the food/event business, in my humble opinion). Blue Hill has been rated one of the top restaurants in the world, and we loved the idea of inviting our friends and family to experience a world-class meal with us, while enjoying the beautiful setting. We also loved the idea that Blue Hill took care of all the food, cake, beverages, which was one less thing to manage.

Finally, we thought about the most fun weddings we have been to—and they involved amazing music & flowing alcohol—so to be fair, Blue Hill took care of the beverages seamlessly, and we hired a band that had super high energy (based off a friend’s recommendation)—they played for 3 straight hours without a break, with wildly talented musicians and dancers. It felt like I was at the best concert of my life, where all my favorite songs were being played, surrounded by my best friends and family (I highly recommended Jessie’s Girls if you want your guests to never get off the dance floor or stop smiling).

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
We felt very selfish hosting a ‘wedding weekend’ from Friday thru Sunday, but given people came from all over the world, it was important for us to give them a weekend of entertainment. Since the wedding was Black Tie, we wanted to flip the switch and do something very relaxed and casual the night before—so we took over Rye Playland Amusement Park in Rye, NY. Gray’s Dad & Step Mom very generously threw an incredibly fun party at Rye Playland on Friday night, with 5 rides & Carvel Ice Cream. We loved watching our guests let loose during bumper cars and scream with excitement on the old school wooden roller coaster; my friend told me she lost her voice for the entire weekend from laughing & screaming on rides. It also gave us a chance to talk to our guests before the wedding and introduce them to each other.

It was important for us to incorporate our family members and friends into the Wedding, especially since we didn’t have a wedding party. My new sisters, mother-in-law, my mom & a handful of girlfriends got ready with me. Gray did the same with his dad and brothers. Our friend from Sydney, who was somewhat instrumental in helping us get together, was our officiant. Gray’s sisters, brothers and my aunt gave speeches during the ceremony & dinner. Finally, Gray’s Mom has been living in Dubai for 20+ years and owns an embroidering company, so she custom designed pashminas from Dubai for our reception in our outdoor lounge space, as a takeaway for guests. While all of these things took a lot of planning, they added unique touches & were subtle ways of paying an extra tribute to our loved ones.

I know Gray & I are incredibly fortunate and lucky to have both our parent’s treat us to an unforgettable and over the top weekend. We definitely didn’t take that for granted. We did privately thank each of our family members with unique and customized letters and gifts. I am a firm believer that a sincere, heart felt, hand-written letter is incredibly important to remember for those who contributed time, money & effort to making our wedding a success.

Dress Designer: Sareh Nouri – custom Cameron
Dress Shop: Bergdorf NYC
Shoes: Aquazzura
Makeup: Chante Cutter
Hair: Once Upon A Bride (Stacey Weinstein)
Flowers: Lewis Miller Design
Venue: Blue Hill at Stone Barns (all food/cake/beverage)
Orchestra: (ceremony & dinner) – Philadelphia String Quartet
Entertainment: (cocktail hour & reception) – Jessie’s Girls (Galaxy Party Bands)
Day Of Coordinating: Matthew, Alanna, Phillipe & Violetta @ Blue Hill (they were fantastic)
Wedding Planner: Peggy Calabrese
Photographer: Christian Oath Studio (Glen Allsop)

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